Our human limitations are not something we need to spend our lives striving to overcome but learning to embrace as the gift of God that they are.
If I call it what it is, I don’t just want to be superhuman, I want to be God. This undeniable longing for a God-Like perfection often leaves us in a perpetual cycle of exhaustion and guilt because the perfection that we seek will never be within reach for imperfect creatures.
That is exactly who we are. We are imperfect creatures who have been fashioned and formed in the image of a Holy God, who created us with an innate need for Him. Not just for the borrowed breath that we breathe every second of every day but for all things required for life and godliness. We are by nature dependent. Our human limitations are not something we need to spend our lives striving to overcome but learning to embrace as the gift of God that they are.
Have you ever considered the fact that your God given limits are at the core of your usefulness to God’s work? I mean just think about it. We can look to almost every single person in the Bible that God used in any significant way to accomplish His will and for the most part we see Him not only working in spite of their limits but working through their limits. People like Abraham and Sarah who were “as good as dead”, lacking in physical strength and vitality who God made the mother and father of nations. Remember Joseph, who was literally discarded and left for dead by His own family who God elevated to a position of favor in Egypt that would impact his entire family. Remember Moses, who was old in age, with a speech impediment when God called him to a task that required the physical and emotional stability of a 40-year-old. Remember Joshua who was young and inexperienced who God used to lead the people of Israel into the promised Land. Remember Elijah and Jeremiah who both wrestled with bouts of depression and were used mightily by God. Remember Paul, who celebrated His own weakness in order to magnify God’s strength. The list goes on and on.
If that list is not convincing enough, we can look to Christ Himself. Who “emptied Himself, taking on the form of a servant, being made in human likeness”. Jesus stepped into time and space, embracing human limitations even though He was God. In doing so, He modeled for us what it means to be fully human, how to live a life completely dependent on the Father and the power of the Holy Spirit. Just like us, He was constrained to a 24-hour day. He grew weary and required rest. He embraced the Sabbath and retreated from work. He engaged with as many people as he could while also withdrawing from the demands of ministry to receive renewal through communion with the Father. He often had to say no to the crowds, when saying yes would have hindered Him from accomplishing the purpose that God gave Him.
To be human is to be limited. To be limited is not necessarily a sign of our sinfulness, but it is the nature of not being God. God alone is omnipresent. God alone is omnipotent. God alone possesses all wisdom and knowledge. God alone is Sovereign and knows the end from the beginning. God alone is fulfilled within Himself. God alone is able to fill up every void and make up for all that we lack. We did not make ourselves, we could not save ourselves, and we cannot sustain ourselves no matter how much the culture seeks to convince us that we can.
It is really good news that you are in fact finite and don’t have what it takes in and of yourself to keep your world spinning. The pressure is off and the plumbline for success in the Kingdom of God is faithfulness. When you are stewarding every gift and resource that God has given you to the best of your ability every day while embracing the reality that you will come up short, you will often feel like you could have accomplished more... Your strength will come to an end, probably in multiple ways, multiple times a day. You will lose your voice, play a wrong note, or struggle leading a meeting. You will disappoint people. You will not always be the most put together or “talented” person on the platform, at the table, or in the room. You will run into exhaustion and have to withdraw. You will be tempted to overcompensate for your weakness by seeking approval and succumbing to the expectation of others. The struggle of embracing our limitations is real and ever present.
But when we fully embrace our limits and boast in our weakness as Paul did, God alone is glorified at the end of the day. Instead of constantly being discouraged by and fighting your unique limits, let them drive you into the embrace of a loving Father and a sufficient Savior. Let them be your constant reminder of who you are as a fully loved and dependent child of God, and who He is a Perfect Father who uses broken and imperfect people.
Instead of constantly being discouraged by and fighting your unique limits, let them drive you into the embrace of a loving Father and a sufficient Savior.